Will the Haval H7 finally enter the market?
SUVs are all the rage in China; in fact, domestic brands were saved by SUV sales last year. Automologist, LILY, brings us up to date on a local SUV model that is hotly anticipated by the Chinese market.
In 2012, Great Wall Motor incited the SUV fever in China with its Haval models priced at about RMB80,000 (US$13,400). Brand reputation and quality aside, I should think that the price point would cause a ‘high fever’ in countries where car prices are high as well. GWM has been the sales champion for SUVs ever since.
Recently, the Haval H7 has become a hot topic among Baidu netizens and car enthusiasts. In fact, it’s been talked about for awhile, with some people ‘prophesying’ a selling price of RMB200,000 (US$33,400), which would enter into the high price range. There were also criticisms that started as early as in 2012, such as jabs at the instability of the H6 that necessitated the H7 as an improvement over its predecessor, that Haval should be making ‘cars’ not ‘model cars’, and also reproach towards the automaker for playing around with the selling price.
Perhaps the negative publicity is one of the reasons that the Haval brand was declared independent from GWM in 2013, as it embarked into the premium SUV market. The H7 was hotly anticipated, but instead several other models were launched in 2014, such as the H2, H1 and even H9; the much discussed H7 brewed in secret. There were even rumors that the H7 would be changed into a completely different variant – some said it was being redesigned, some even said that it changed its name to the H5! What was going on?!
Finally, the actual production unit was showcased at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2015. Haval now places emphasis on its branding, with a nice red and silver logo instead of the earlier blue and silver version. Overall, the car appears solid with a touch of class. The H7 is the brand’s first completely digital SUV. The interior design features quality materials that create a clean, pleasant and contemporary feel.
For more pictures of the Haval H7 at the Shanghai Auto Show, click here.
The suspense still continues as the question still remains on when the Haval H7 will finally hit the road. The dates (or rather, guesses) have been postponed from 2013 to 2014 and to 2015; the latest news indicate that the launch will take place in the first half of 2016. Is this part of the company’s strategy to capture the market’s attention, using curiosity and suspense that will gather momentum towards an explosive grand launch? I do not know.
The selling price is between RMB125,000 to RMB175,000 (about US$20,800 to US$29,200). Let’s see if it can set off another SUV fever in China.